Gearing Up for the Biomass Conference

By Rona Johnson
I want to remind each of you, if you haven't done so already, to register for BBI International's 2009 International Biomass Conference & Expo, which is being held April 28-30 in Portland, Ore.

To give you a little preview of what to expect, Staff Writer Anna Austin has written a feature called "Wood Pellet Prowess" about West Oregon Wood Products Inc. (see page 24).

The company is on the tour agenda along with Clean Water Services, which specializes in producing power through anaerobic digestion and gas recovery, and Summit Natural Energy Corp., which makes ethanol from food processing waste. West Oregon Wood Products uses waste material from sawmills to make wood pellets, fire logs and animal bedding. The owner of the business, Chris Sharron, says the tour will give conference attendees a "good feel for what the whole process entails, from the drying operation right through to the pelletizing operation." Sharron has plants in Columbia City, Banks and Dillard, Ore. The tour will be held at the Banks, Ore., facility.

The conference tracks cover every type of biomass feedstock you can think of, including crop residues, dedicated energy crops, forest and wood processing residues, livestock and poultry wastes, municipal and urban wastes and landfill gas, and food processing residues.

I know that times are tough and money is tight, but with the potential benefits for the renewable energy industry in the government stimulus package and in President Barack Obama's budget, it's more important than ever to keep abreast of new technology, biomass sources and funding opportunities.

This is also a great opportunity to connect with others in the biomass business, and those who seek to get into the business and may require your expertise. You will also have access to biomass experts from academia, policymakers, technology and project developers, and the people who produce biomass.

To register for the conference, get a look at the agenda or just to find out what Portland has to offer you, go to

Rona Johnson
Features Editor
[email protected]